ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS THEY WON’T GO WAY

Here in America, there are some contentious issues that just won’t go away. I mean they’ll be with us as long as the nation exists. Abortion, the death penalty, racism to name only three. But the one that has been nagging the human race down through the ages is the conflict or seeming conflict between religion and the state. In our great nation, the founding fathers tried to settle the conflict for us Americans by putting in the Constitution the doctrine of the separation of church and state.

Well sir, every since the founding fathers wisely separated church and state, them religious folks have been tryin to make that separation disappear.

The most recent of their efforts here in my home state of Tennessee became evident in 2008 with legislation that authorized the state to create a course for a “nonsectarian, nonreligious academic study of the Bible.” Based on the legislation, the Tennessee Board of Education has drawn up Bible Curriculum Guidelines for teaching the Bible in public high schools starting next fall.

What, you might ask, exactly will be taught?

Highlights from Tennessee’s Bible curriculum: Courteous of the Tennessean newspaper  in Nashville.

• Students will read biblical narratives, identify chief characters and analyze plot, literary form and intended impact on the reader.
• Students will learn and discuss pivotal historical events and geographic locations and compare the religious, social and cultural lives in the ancient world.
• Students will show how the Bible has impacted art, literature, music and thought by reading pieces of work that use biblical allusions and listening to music that relies on biblical text.
Source: Tennessee Board of Education

Now, the legislators, teachers, and anybody else who cares to consider the matter knows there will be court challenges and the state will more than likely lose.

My question: is it possible to teach a nonsectarian, nonreligious Bible course?

It seems to me the very fact that one of the textbooks is the Christian Bible makes the course both sectarian and religious.

And I’m betting who ever teaches the course will, in one way or another, proselytize.

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